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Science Policy Fellow - Stephen Formel

Implementing Organization

NOAA - National Centers for Environmental Information


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – Gulf Research Program (NASEM - GRP)

Funding Program

NASEM Gulf Research Program Fellowships


Project Category

Human and Social

Project Actions

Education and Outreach

Targeted Resources

Human and/or Institutional Capacity

Project Description

Mr. Formel is a doctoral candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology at Tulane University. He has a passion for diving into large amounts of messy data and complicated problems. He currently focuses on how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill influenced the relationship between salt marsh grasses and microbes. Prior to becoming a biologist, he received a B.F.A. in film from Rochester Institute of Technology. Over the next decade he worked a variety of positions in the film industry and logistics. He became a SCUBA instructor in 2010 and discovered a love for teaching science while working at the Catalina Island Marine Institute. Mr. Formel received a B.A. in biology from Hunter College in 2015 while studying RNA regulation in fruit fly eggs in the lab of Dr. Diana Bratu. He also worked for two summers as an HHMI undergraduate scholarship in the lab of Dr. Scott Brady at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. His love of coastal environments and complex systems led him to study microbial ecology with Dr. Sunshine Van Bael at Tulane University. During his graduate work he has received a Louisiana Board of Regents Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Over his graduate career he cultivated his data science and science communication skills by active participation and leadership in numerous workshops and outreach like the Tulane University R Fans coding club (TURF), the Louisiana Sea Grant Graduate Research Scholars program, and Girls in Stem at Tulane (GIST).


Karena Mothershed
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